McGregor IS BEST KNOWN FOR its well preserved historic cottages, its eccentric people and its tranquil and relaxed lifestyle.
GET YOUR PICTURE TAKEN AT Tanagra under the giant wild fig tree.
THE BEST landscape PICTURES CAN BE TAKEN anywhere in and around McGregor, as McGregor is surrounded by mountains, you will have a mountain view from any spot.
OTHER HAPPY SNAPS can be taken anywhere in the streets of McGregor make sure you include the picturesque whitewashed cottages.
WHEN THE WEATHER’S GOOD, I LIKE TO go for a walk on our farm, in Vrolijkheid Nature Reserve or the streets of McGregor.
WHEN THE WEATHER’S BAD, I LIKE TO sit in front of the fireplace, with a glass of wine and read a book. Or go for a wine-tasting at one of the other McGregor wineries.
I THINK THE BEST TIME OF YEAR TO VISIT IS all year round, but I particularly love autumn when the temperatures start to drop down but it’s still pleasantly warm; I love winter because of the crisp mornings which so often magically transform into the most beautiful and clear days once the fog lifts, and I love spring for the awakening of nature and especially the first buds at our vines.
MY FAVOURITE BREAKFAST SPOT IS De Kaap, a newly and beautifully restored Cape Georgian farmhouse, on the Robertson road. It has great views of the mountains and vineyards.
FOR LUNCH, I SUGGEST Café Tebaldi’s – the beauty and tranquillity of their gardens is extraordinary, and their restaurant is a must for all opera lovers as it features (and is named after) the famous soprano Renata Tebaldi.
MY FAVOURITE RESTAURANT IS a difficult choice. I truly love all the restaurants in McGregor. If you like really small places, owner-run and quirky, and veggies that still have a bite go to Karoux, TRY THE Duck Springrolls as a starter and the Karoux lamb chops for your main course.
BEST LATE NIGHT SNACK FROM the Sportsbar. They get their snacks from Melange, which serves fine food in the adjacent restaurant.
MY FAVOURITE hangout SPOT IS our dam at Tanagra. For me, there’s nothing compared to sitting on the deck and watching the coots on the water, the weavers in the reeds and listen to the sound of the fisheagle.
FOR A NIGHT OUT ON THE TOWN TRY Carol’s Overdraught Pub or the Sportsbar at the old McGregor Hotel, but keep in mind that night-life in McGregor is not very busy and stargazing is more popular than partying here.
IF YOU WANT TO MEET LOCALS, GO TO well, you can’t avoid meeting the locals anywhere in McGregor. There are no places exclusively used by tourists only. One particular good opportunity to meet locals is to go to the Saturday morning market. But be careful to be on time, as it begins at around 09h00 and often ends at 09h15.
McGregor’s BEST KEPT SECRET IS its laid-back and unpretentious life-style. It’s a place where – as a popular slogan goes – ‘time stands still’. Some say it’s due to particularly ‘good swingings’ in McGregor, due to the ley lines running through it. Others ascribe it to its somewhat remote position – at the end of the road from Robertson. Whether you subscribe to the esoteric explanations or not, be sure to feel there’s something special about McGregor.
MY FAVOURITE THING TO DO WITH FRIENDS IS watching an open-air movie at Tanagra under the giant fig tree in summer.
FOR SOME LIVE MUSIC, I LIKE TO GO TO one of the jazz concerts with local musicians at venues in and around McGregor.
TO RELAX AND RESTORE MY SOUL, I LIKE TO go for a walk through the vineyards and the reeds at our farm and then hangout with a good book in my hammock.
IF YOU’RE FEELING ADVENTUROUS, TRY the Boesmankloof Trail from McGregor to Greyton. The whole trail will take about 5 hours but may require a night stopover in Greyton. Alternatively it’s also possible to walk half of the trail, up to some rock pools and then walk back. In summer when it’s hot start out early and then hang out at (or rather in) the rock pools with a nice picnic and then walk back when it cools down again in late afternoon.
MY FAVOURITE DRIVE IS along the old Robertson Road, a road running parallel to the tar road from Robertson to McGregor, with a lot of great view points on the way.
MY FAVOURITE pottery SHOP IS Mill Stone pottery. Paul and Nina produce high temperature, wood-fired and salt-glazed stoneware and porcelain at their showroom and studio. I particularly like their raku pieces.
MY FAVOURITE bird WATCHING SPOT IS at the dam in Vrolijkheid Nature Reserve or our own dam at Tanagra.
IF YOU’RE HERE IN August, JOIN IN THE FUN AT the McGregor Food & Wine Festival, when all the McGregor wineries and restaurants gather together in the Church Hall and outside in the garden in Bedouin Tents to present McGregor’s best wines, spirits and food. It’s always on the last weekend in August and a one day event (on the Saturday) – and absolutely fun. Be sure to feel the famous McGregor vibe when being there.
MY FAVOURITE GALLERY IS oh goodness me, as with restaurants there are so many I love: La Scala attached to Café Tebaldi’s, the Lionhouse (Jo Nowicki), Mulberry Studio (James & Anne Binos). CHECK OUT THE collection of local artists in Mulberry Studio or Jo’s drawings. La Scala usually has thematic and changing exhibitions. Another great place to go is Roy Reycraft’s Garden Art Exhibition at Vrolijkheid Nature Reserve – check out Roy’s handmade brass sundials there.
MY FAVOURITE BUILDING, apart from the many historic and picturesque white washed cottages in the village, is Jill Hogan’s cob house, FOR ITS demonstration of sustainable building.
TRAVELLING WITH CHILDREN? A FUN OUTING IS a visit to the Donkey Sanctuary, right opposite McGregor Winery. It’s a home for old and abused donkeys, open from Thursday to Sundays. There is a farmstall and a small country kitchen. A very popular weekend destinations for nature loving families.
BEST CHEAP AND CHEERFUL OUTING IS a walk anywhere in or around McGregor, a winetasting (free!) in one of the wineries or a grappa tasting (also free!) at Tanagra (first and only producer of European style grappa and Eau de Vie in the Breede River Valley).
WHEN MONEY’S NO OBJECT, I LIKE TO go for dinner to one of McGregor’s fine restaurants, but honestly, you don’t need much money to spend a happy time here.
THE MOST UNUSUAL THING I SEE HERE IS a Saturday morning market that last approximately 20 minutes. Expect to find fresh bread from a wood-fired oven, veggies and various home-made delis, and to meet the McGregor locals.
MY FAVOURITE WEEKEND GETAWAY IS of course McGregor. Whenever I’m out and returning to McGregor my heart makes a ‘jump’ when driving into the valley again.
WHEN I WANT TO GIVE BACK TO THE COMMUNITY, I participate in, or donate to, one of the many charity events in McGregor.
I Love McGregor BECAUSE it is Western Cape countryside at its very best. Tranquil and peaceful but never dull, wonderful people, providing a really good infrastructure (restaurants, wineries, galleries, etc.), without being a posh yuppie destination. If you feel like you cannot go without a big city – Cape Town is only a 2 hours’ drive away. I wouldn’t like to live anywhere else. I’ve travelled quite a bit in my life.
Vrolijkheid Nature Reserve: +27 (0)21 659-3500
De Kaap Restaurant: +27 (0)72 693-4052
Cafe Tebaldi: +27 (0)23 625-1115
Karoux Restaurant: +27 (0)23 625-1421
Mèlange Restaurant: +27(0) 23 625-1767
The Overdraught Pub: +27 (0)23 625-1656
Boesmanskloof Trail HIking Permits: +27 (0)21 659-3500
Mill Stone Pottery: +27 (0)23 625-1599
McGregor Food and Wine Festival: +27 (0)23 625-1954
La Scala Gallery: +27 (0)23 625-1871
Mulberry Studio: +27 (0)23 625-1380
Donkey Sanctuary: +27 (0)23 625-1593
Useful McGregor Links:
- McGregor Attractions
- Things to Do in McGregor
- McGregor Accommodation
- Western Cape Accommodation
- Cape Town & Western Cape Hotels